HISTORY

Lithograph by Miguel Covarrubias

covarrubias_rumba.jpg

HISTORY OF SOVEREIGN ARTS SOCIETY, INC- (SAS)

 

9/12/96- 9/15/96 - Afro-Cuban Workshops in dance and percussion, featuring members of Grupo AfroCuba, premiere dancer Teresita Dome Perez and lead percussionist Ramon Garcia Perez held at Tucson High School and the University of Arizona Dance Division and School of Music.

 

5/5/97 to 5/10/97- Afro-Cuban Workshops in folkloric dance and percussion featuring Regino Jiminez master drummer of Danza Nacional de Cuba and Teresita Dome Perez premiere dancer of Grupo Afro Cuba, held at the University of Arizona Dance Division and School of Music, with performance at “Tucson Meet Yourself,” featuring guest artists and SAS Cuban musical ensemble, Ache Pa’ Tí.

 

11/4/97 to 11/6/97 - Salsa Mania Dance Workshops in Salsa and Rueda de Casino- featuring six renowned dancers/educators and staff from La Escuela Nacional De Artes ; Borja Jimenez, Ramon Ramos, Mayra Milán Bruzón, Marilu Ramirez and Ariel Oceguera, held at the University of Arizona Dance Division, with presentation at local area schools.  The project culminated in a concert performance for students and the general public at local club, El Parador featuring the guest artists with SAS musical ensemble Ache Pa’ Tí.

 

12/6/97 to 12/14/97 - Havana Club workshops in traditional Cuban dance styles featured members of Conjunto Folkloric Nacional De Cuba; Daisy Villalejo Ahmed Fernandez, Ariel Oceguera, and Ernesto Cardenas, held at the University of Arizona Dance Division, with presentation at local area schools.  Styles covered were folklore, son, danson, mambo, cha cha cha, salsa and rueda de casino.  Performance collaborations with local SAS Cuban musical ensemble, Ache Pa’ Tí, took place at local club, El Parador.

 

6/20/98 to 6/27/98 - Salsa Mania II featured three members of Conjunto Folkloric Nacional de Cuba; Daisy Villalejo, Ariel Oceguera and Ernesto Cardenas, held at the University of Arizona Dance Division, with presentations at local area schools.  Collaborative performances took place each weekend of the project with guest artists and SAS Cuban musical ensemble, Ache Pa’ Tí.

 

12/98 - SAS sponsored five Tucson musicians from local ensemble, Ache Pa’ Tí.

on a four week trip to Cuba where they participated in a cultural exchange program studying with prestigious Cuban musicians including, NG La Banda, Los Van Van, Manolin, Issac Delgado, Chucho Valdez, Charanga Habanera and Anais Abreau.

 

1/99 –SAS Cuban musical ensemble, Ache Pa’ Tí invited to perform at the Havana International Jazz Festival, in a travel/study cultural exchange program.

The cultural exchange included studies and performances at the Jazz Festival with Grupo Kilmax, Los Van Van, Bamboleo, Conjunto Folklorico Nacional, Issac Delgado, Manolito Simoney, Paulito FG, Anais Abreau, Charanga Habanera and Roy Hargrove.

 

3/21/99 to 5/22/99 - Salsa Suites - SAS musicians, singers and dancers in collaboration with Sunnyside School district in a project funded by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, involving a six-week program in Sunnyside District 

middle and high schools.  The students learned fundamentals of contemporary Cuban dance styles, orchestral and vocal musical forms or charanga, son and 

salsa, performance techniques and the importance of teamwork.  This led to the 

formulation of a junior salsa orchestra and dance group comprised completely of students, which culminated in a concert performance for students and parents at the school year end awards ceremony.

 

3/01/99 to 1/25/00 - Buena Vida Dance Club- Salsa classes taught by Cuban dancer/choreographer/educator, Ernesto Cardenas, held at the University of Arizona Dance Division, with presentations at local area schools.  Concert performances were presented each weekend featuring the guest artist with SAS ensemble, Ache Pa’ Tí.

 

2/5/002 to 3/15/02 - Buena Vida Dance Club II - Contemporary Cuban Dance styles taught by guest artist Ernesto Cardenas.  Workshops were held at the University of Arizona Dance Division. The project culminated in a concert performance at the Rialto Theater in collaboration with South By Southwest Productions.  Local SAS dance ensemble, Son Deseos opened for Grupo Cubanismo. The dance ensemble consisted of Ernesto’s students, covered contemporary Cuban dance style, and featured the choreography of Mr. Cardenas. 

 

8/20/99 to 8/22/99 - Afro-Cubismo, workshops in Afro-Cuban/Haitian styles in dance and percussion, featuring twelve member, Grupo Ban Rra Rra held at the University of Arizona Dance Division, with presentation at local area schools.  The project culminated in a two-hour concert performance at the Rialto Theater to a sold out audience. 

 

5/1/00 - In collaboration with CAL Productions ,SAS produced a concert performance at the Rialto Theater by the world- renowned fifteen member, Cuban, dance orchestra, “Los Van Van.”

 

6/9/00- SAS produced a concert performance at the Rialto Theater featuring the highly acclaimed contemporary, twelve member, Cuban, Timba orchestra, “Bamboleo.”

 

3/22/01 to 3/29/01- Afro-Cuban/Haitian percussion & Dance Workshops featuring three members of Grupo Ban Rra Rra; Pedro Pablo Arango, Mirna Jimenez and Misael Maure, held at the University of Arizona Dance Division, with presentations at local area schools.

 

10/26/01 to 10/29/01 - Omo Oddara - (in collaboration with non-profit organization, “First Day Project”) Afro-Cuban dance and percussion workshops, featuring six Cuban dancers/percussionists, Jesus Alfonso, Teresita Perez, Susana Arenas, Miguel Bernal, Jose Barroso and Sandy Perez, held at the Muse 

with concert performance at the Rialto Theater and closing Rumba party at El Casino Ballroom.

 

11/13/01 to 11/17/01- Afro-Cuban dance and song workshops featuring world renowned Cuban artist, Felix Insua, of Yoruba Andabo.  The workshops were held in collaboration with Barbea Williams. The project culminated in a closing party, which featured solo performance by Mr. Insua demonstrating the dances of the Yoruba deities. 

 

3/10/02 to 3/23/02 - De La Rumba Al Son - workshops in dance and song of the Afro-Cuban folklore traditions, featuring Felix Insua, held at Zuzi’s Little theater and with presentations in numerous Tucson area schools.  The project included an opening reception and final concert performance featuring the choreography of Mr. Insua and including students from the project and local SAS Rumba ensemble.  In collaboration with local filmmaker and Community Cable Member, Don Montrose, portions of the workshops and performance were filmed for release as a documentary on Mr. Insua.

 

4/12/02 to 4/28/02 - Baila en Cuba - in collaboration with Ramon Ramos Alayo, performer and educator from Escuela Nacional De Artes, a travel/study dance program with immersion into traditional Cuban culture in Havana, Cuba. 

 

5/6/02 to 5/12/02 - Raices Cubanas - clinics in Afro-Cuban folkloric percussion, song and dance from folklore to contemporary styles held at “the muse.”  Members of the group included Ramon Ramos Alayo, Susana Arenas, Rogelio Kindelan Nordet, Ramon Perez, Teresita Domé Perez, José Rojas Ramirez, Alain Amilcar Soto and Camille Steneck. The project opened with a greeting reception, included presentations at numerous Tucson area schools and culminated in a concert performance held at Nation’s Hall. The performance covered the evolution of Cuban dance from the African influenced folklore to contemporary Rueda de Casino and included participation by students and SAS artists.  In collaboration with local filmmaker and Community Cable Member, Don Montrose, the entire project was filmed with segments being aired on community cable TV, throughout the summer and fall.

 

9/16/02 to 10-5-02 - “Elégbára” - Participating visiting artists include Felix Insua of Yoruba Andabo, Susana Arenas of Raices Profundas and Rogelio Kindelan Nordet of Conjunto Folklorico Cutumba de Santiago.  The project provided educational outreach opportunities through presentations at Native American and Tucson area schools, focusing on underserved and marginalized communities.  

We united people through shared experiences of participation in dance workshops held at “the muse.”  Dance workshops featuring influences of African spirituality in Cuban music and dance forms held at Pima Community College and “Zuzi’s Move It Dance” and through a concert presentation in the form of a theatrical dance performance, depicting the legend of the Yoruba deity, Eleggua, held at Zuzi’s Little Theater.  The performance included local dancers, musicians and arts organizations providing exposure opportunities to the local arts community.  In collaboration with local filmmaker and Tucson Community Access Cable Television Member, Don Montrose, portions of the project were filmed with the finished project to being aired on community cable TV.

 

2/17/03 to 2-22-03 - Workshops in Afro-Cuban Percussion, Dance & Song with Juan De Dios Ramos, director of Conjunto Folklorico Raices Profundas and Miguel Angel Bernal Nodal, master percussionist of Raices Profundas.  Workshops were held at the SAS “Casa De Cultura and at the University of Arizona School of Music. Tucson Community Access Cable Television Member, Don Montrose, filmed portions of the workshops and segments aired on community cable TV.

 

3/19/03 to 4/5/03 - Afro-Latino-Americas Festival - Sovereign Arts in conjunction with Outward Visions, Rhythm & Roots, Armory Park and Councilman, Steve Leal presented a series of educational outreach events culminating in an all day music festival free to the public. The outdoor Festival held at Armory Park included local vendors and concert performances and drew an estimated 2500 people.  Featured artists included the Oliver Lake Steel Quartet, Grupo Olorun, The Lost Boys of Sudan, Mary Redhouse, Dom Minasi and Latino Solido.  Educational outreach programs were presented at fifteen Tucson area schools and Pima Community College and resulted in the formation of an educational committee, comprised of dedicated members of the Tucson public school system. 

 

4/10/03 to 4/11/03 - Ravi Coltrane Quartet - This collaboration with partnering organization, Outward Visions, Inc. brought Ravi, son of the legendary jazz icon, John Coltrane, along with his quartet.  The group presented four educational interactive concerts for youth at Amphi High School, Pueblo High School, Desert View High School and the Armory Park Senior Center.  The presentations included improvisation by student rappers, singers and musicians performing alongside the Ravi Coltrane Quartet. 

 

May 2003 - Afro-Cuban folkloric percussion and song classes with Manuel Aregullin

June 2004 - Ongoing hand drumming classes with Emilio Caruso

April 2005 - Stretch/Stress Therapeutics classes with Norma Itule

 

Feb 2006 - Shekere Workshops with Master Lance Lu

April 2006 - Afro- Cuban Traditions, percussion and yoruba song class

Feb 2007 - Afro-Cuban Choir led by Manuel Aregullin

April 2007 Formation of Grupo Ritmo Bacheche tradional Afro-Cuban Folkloric music ensemble

June 2007 - The Dambe Project - collaboration with Tucson Afro-Cuban Choir presentation

Nov 2007 -  Afro-Cuban Dance, Percussion and song classes taught by artist in residence, Reynaldo Gonzales in collaboration with the University of Arizona School of Music.  Reynaldo born in Matanzas, Cuba, has been dancing, singing and playing percussion since early childhood.  After graduating from the Escuela para Instructores de Arte in 1984, he became one of the principal dancers and choreographers for the prominent Cuban group Afro-Cuba de Matanzas and toured with the group to the U.S. in 1996. He has taught Afro-Cuban dance, percussion and song ever since his arrival to the U.S. He has a VAST knowledge of ritual dances, chants and rhythms of Yoruba, Bantu, Abakua, Palo and Yessa.  

April 2008 - Afro-Cuban Percussion, Song and Dance classes taught by artist in residence, Reynaldo Gonzales in collaboration with the University of Arizona School of Music

Aug 2009 - Manuel Aregullin presents at the SouthWest Arts Conference as a teaching artist.  The presentation taught ancient folkloric music of the African Diaspora preserved in Cuba.

Oct 2009 - Tucson Meet Yourself performance and ongoing classes with Reynaldo Gonzales- percussionist, dancer and choreographer

April - May 2010 - Tucson Afro Cuban Coro. Classes in Lucumi songs taught by Manuel Aregullin in collaboration with the Southern Arizon aAssociatio for the Blind.

 

May 2010 - Cuba Night Rumba Party.   Authentic cuban cuisine and performances by Ritmo Bacheche.  Featuring guest artist Reynaldo Gonzales.

 

April 2011 - Cuban Salsa Dance Class taught by artist in residence Reynaldo Gonzales

 

May 2012 - Rumba Party Fund Raiser with performances by Ritmo Bacheche

 

June 2012 - Weekly Rumba Dance Classes taught by Norma Itule with live music by Ritmo Bacheche

 

Oct 2012 - Performance for Tucson Meet Yourself at the Leo Rich Theater titled the roots of Cuban Music.  Presentation illustrated the music and dance of Cuba from African roots to present day salsa. Multi media educational entertainments with dance, music and narration.

Dec 2013 - Jan 2014 Music and dance studies in Matanzas, Cuba

2014 to 2020 Weekly Classes in Afro-Cuban Percussion and Yoruba Song taught by manuel Aregullin